Gopal Shah’s Accomplice Captured, Another at Large: Relatives of Boat Scandal Prime Accused Arrested in Raipur

The Vadodara Harani Lake Zone boat accident case has seen significant success with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) making substantial progress. SIT has arrested the accused Gopal Shah and the fugitive Paresh Shah from Raypura, Chhattisgarh. Currently, eight accused have been apprehended, while eleven are still at large in this case.

Former Town Development Officer in VMC Involved in Accident

At one time, Gopaldas Shah served as the Town Development Officer in the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). After being terminated by the corporation, Gopaldas Shah, an architect by profession, started his consultancy. Reportedly, he worked as a consultant in around 50 projects in Gujarat, including projects in Pavgadh and Ayodhya.

Beautification Campaign for Lakes Initiated in 2015-16

In the year 2015-16, a beautification campaign for major lakes in Gujarat was initiated through Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Gopaldas Shah played a significant role in this initiative, providing consultancy for projects, including the beautification of the Motnath Talav in Vadodara, which had been under his control for 30 years.

Tender Awarded for Kotiya Project Despite Lack of Qualification

Notably, the tender for the Kotiya Project was awarded even though Messrs Kotiya Project lacked the necessary qualifications. The accusations related to the present boat accident point to the involvement of accused Gopaldas Shah, Paresh Shah, and Niraj Jain in securing the tender for the beautification project of Motnath Talav.

Dolphin Company Awarded Beautification Tender

After Messrs Kotiya Project secured the tender, Gopaldas Shah, under his earlier consultancy, awarded the beautification tender for Motnath Talav to Dolphin Company. The main stakeholders of Dolphin Company, accused Paresh Shah and Nilesh Jain, emerged as key players in this project, obtaining 50,000 square feet of space for the beautification of Motnath Talav.

Arrested Suspects:

  • Gopal Shah
  • Binit Kotiya
  • Nayan Gohil
  • Bhimsinh Yadav
  • Shantilal Solanki
  • Ankit Vasava
  • Ved Prakash Yadav
  • Rashmikant Prajapati

Accused Paresh Shah and Nilesh Jain Remain at Large

On January 18, a tragic incident occurred at Motnath Talav in Vadodara, resulting in the drowning of 23 children and 4 teachers on a boat. Following this incident, the police arrested eight suspects. However, accused Paresh Shah and Nilesh Jain remain at large and have distanced themselves from police custody. The case is currently under investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Arrest of Binith Kotiya for Involvement in Boat Accident Investigation

Binith Kotiya was apprehended with his hands tied for questioning in connection with the boat accident that occurred in the Harani lake zone. The Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Zone 4 in Vadodara, Momaya, announced that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is currently conducting an inquiry into the accident that took place in the Harani lake zone. The investigation aims to gather information to prevent the evasion of those involved in the crime and to collect evidence against all the accused. As part of this, Binith Hiteshbhai Kotiya (age 39), residing behind Aeries Signature, Diwalipura Garden, Vadodara, was arrested in connection with the incident and is being questioned.

Who Provided Shelter to the Accused?

DCP of Zone 4 stated that efforts are being made to locate and inspect the places of residence of all the accused who are on the run. Legal action will be taken against anyone providing shelter to the accused. The investigation will include finding out where the accused have been hiding. Currently, forensic examination is underway at the crime scene. The boat, which was used for boating in the lake zone and belonged to the company involved, is being inspected, and its owner has been called for questioning related to the crime.

Tragic Drowning Incident Claims 12 Students and 2 Teachers

Brijesh Trivedi, the head of the Gujarat High Court Advocate Association, filed a petition in court seeking a suo-motu investigation into the incident. The court, taking cognizance of the news reports from various organizations, has initiated a suo-motu inquiry. The incident involved the drowning of 12 students and 2 teachers from New Sunrise School in the Waghodia area. 82 other students were on a school trip. The incident occurred around 4:45 PM. A boat, with a capacity for 16 people, capsized, leading to the tragic death of 27 individuals.

27 Individuals Loaded into a Boat at a Capacity of 17

Following the boat overturning incident at the Harani lake in Vadodara on Thursday afternoon, 12 innocent children and 2 teachers lost their lives. Seven years ago, the municipality had planned to develop the lake near a village on the outskirts of Vadodara for recreation with cleanliness and beauty. A contract for the entire expansion was awarded to Parsh Shah of Kotiya Projects in 2017. Parsh Shah later subcontracted the project to another company. The lake had been charging Rs. 60 per person above five years of age for boating for the past five years. It is reported that the attraction of earning more money led to overloading of the boat with more children than its capacity, and according to regulations, the boat’s capacity is 17 individuals. In this incident, 27 people were loaded into the boat, leading to a tragic event that has left Gujarat in shock.

Niyati Rao

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